DOON DIAMOND DAYS
by Dee Keegan
1967 was the year the town of Doon was officially seventy-five years old. A central committee selected Eugene Schroeder, Mayor of Doon, to serve as chairman of the two-day celebration of this event, to be held July 27-28, to be known as "Doon Diamond Days."
One of the earliest goals of the central committee was to involve as many area people as possible in this celebration to further the bond of community togetherness.
Committees were organized and regular meetings were held at the old town hall on the main street of Doon.
On January 19 a kick-off banquet was held in Doon school gym. Nearly 900 persons were served a catered turkey dinner, with adult tickets costing $1.75. Area ladies attended in Jubilee attire and about 50 of the men present were already sporting a 19-day-old beard.
Popular features in the Doon Press during the jubilee year included the "Brothers of the Brush" photos of Doon's bearded gents and "Doon's Darling Damsels" in their long dresses and sunbonnets.
By March 1 beard growing was mandatory, unless a $5.00 shaving permit was purchased.
The promotion committee sold jubilee buttons, pins, bumper stickers, men's vests, bow ties, derbies and ornate ladies' brooches.
The Doon Press kept readers abreast of committee proc4eedings with a weekly column entitled, "Jubilee Fever."
Doon's resident composer, Rich Ricke, was at work early in the year, composing an original song for the celebration.
Joyce Lawrence and Carine Schroeder spent some seven months researching and writing a pageant, subsequently titled, "Ah, I Remeber It Well." The bulk of the background material was obtained from old Press files. Old council proceedings were reviewed and numerous interviews with old-timers and former residents were held.
Many fund-raisers were held during the year, with all profits direct4d to the Jubilee fund. There were soup suppers, pancake breakfasts, alumni basketball games and bake sales. A 'hit' appearing at many of the fundraisers was the newly formed Doon Barbershop Octet, featuring Ted Stientjes, Dick Keizer, Galen Lawrence, W.C. 'Speck' Anderson, Louis Kopsas, Buzz Haas, Bill Niemeyer and Ivan Krull, with Audrey Cuperus as pianist.
Some activities were just for fun-no business and no fund raising. These included a community potluck picnic in June, with everyone urged to come in jubilee duds, and a rip-roaring Saturday night 'piano bust-up' featuring a team of area farmers pitted against the local businessmen.
Galen Lawrence and Harold Aardema wrote and compiled a sixty page history of Doon, entitled "Through the Years with Bonnie Doon"
which sold for $1.00.
The historical pageant was presented to sell-out crowds on four nights. An estimated 10,000 people were present for the two evening parades. Approximately $6500 profit was derived from all sources connected with the jubilee. It was decided that all funds from the Doon Diamond Days be transferred to the Doon Civic Improvement Corporation to be used toward the construction of a new community hall.
Index | Home